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GDC: Nvidia, Havok Team For GPU-Powered Physics Solution

GDC: Nvidia, Havok Team For GPU-Powered Physics Solution

March 20, 2006 | By Simon Carless

March 20, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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Video game physics middleware firm Havok has announced that it is partnering with Nvidia to show a version of its previously announced Havok FX GPU-based physics technology at Game Developers Conference in San Jose this week.

The result of an ongoing engineering collaboration between Havok and Nvidia, Havok FX enables the simulation of dramatically-detailed physical phenomena in PC games when powered by GPUs such as Nvidia's GeForce 7 or 6 Series GPUs and further amplified with Nvidia SLI multi-GPU technology. The Havok FX product is currently in early release to select developers, and is expected to be available this summer.

The product is designed for GPUs supporting Shader Model 3.0, and allows the implementation of sophisticated physical phenomenon such as debris, smoke, and fluids that add detail and believability to game environments, according to the two firms.

Interestingly, the GDC annoucement for Havok FX is clearly to present itself as an alternative to physics hardware and software firm Ageia, which is presenting its own special 'PPU' PC physics hardware, which includes a standalone PC card, at a number of major events this week, with announcements to follow.

Jeff Yates, VP of Product Management at Havok, commented: "We've believed for some time that GPU technology had the potential to simulate physical effects and our collaboration with NVIDIA has proven that. The large installed base of Shader Model 3 class GPUs and momentum by NVIDIA in the market make Havok FX an attractive solution for game developers looking for hardware-accelerated physics."


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